You might hear about tragic things that happen to other families. Things that happen to other mothers, other fathers. Maybe neighbors or friends-of-friends…but they could never happen to you. That’s how most of us feel until we are made to face something that we never thought could happen in our lives. We think, “that happens on the news…” not at my house. One mom is out to change all of that. She wants you to know that it can happen to you, and when it does, you need to be prepared and know what to do next.
Today my worst nightmare of being a mother almost came true. I was outside with my 2 year old daughter working on the back yard. She was helping me rake leaves. We happen to have an in-ground pool that hasn’t been covered yet for the winter. We are in the yard almost every day and she knows to stay away from the pool without me, but today she was riding one of those battery operated four wheelers in circles around my piles of leaves. As I was bent down bagging them up my subconscious suddenly became aware of something… Silence.
I didn’t hear her little toy driving around me. I must’ve been distracted for 2 minutes. I quickly scanned the yard and then looked at the pool and saw her four wheeler in the water.
My heart stopped.
I ran to the pool and saw her under the water and dove in to bring her up. What was 5 seconds of her not moving felt like an eternity. She started to cough and cry and I knew that at that moment she was alive and ok. I rushed her to the emergency room because as an RN I knew that she wasn’t safe just because she was out of the water.
Delayed effects from drowning can occur up to 6 hours after someone being in the water, you may have heard of it as “dry drowning.” The wonderful ER staff took her back immediately during a busy time. Her chest X-ray confirmed that she did indeed have fluid in her lungs that was dangerous even though she was sitting up and conscious and coughing. We spent the night in the pediatric ICU for a series of chest X-rays and heart monitoring. Lucky for us we were discharged this morning.
My point is that no matter how vigilant you think you are about watching out for accidents, 2 year olds are quick. What may have been 2 mins of distraction could have resulted in losing my child. I have heard that drowning is silent but you don’t realize the scary truth to this. I never heard the splash even though I was 50 feet away. I never heard her cry for help. I heard nothing and I was RIGHT THERE.
I never thought this would happen to me. Please don’t make the same assumption.
Most parents would have been grateful when their little angel began to breathe again. Going to the ER may have seemed like an unnecessary step to take, once their child started moving around and acting normally again. But this mom, and RN, wants you to know that a trip to the ER after an event like this might be the difference between life and death!!
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